Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Return of Wang

Nope, not a viagra commercial, though the following graphic may be appropriate for that as well.

Former Yankee and current National Chien-Ming Wang is fresh off of his best major league start since July of 2009.

Wang went 6 innings against the Cubs, giving up just 1 hit, 2 walks, and 0 runs while striking out 1.

So far on the season Wang has faced 64 batters.  Of those he has generated 32 ground balls while walking 4 batters and striking out 3.

Wang's ability to get ground balls looks to be intact.  Wang induced grounders about 60% of the time before his injury (closer to 55% of the time his last few seasons).  Thus far 32 of the 53 (60%) balls hit off of Wang have been of the worm burner variety.

He's not striking anyone out though.  For his career Wang had been striking out about 10% of batters and that number was steadily increasing.  This season he's only struck out 5% of the batters that he's faced.  His fastball velocity is down a full mile per hour since 2009, and 2 MsPH since 2006.

Only 5 pitchers this season have K% lower than 10% (minimum 50 IP): Sean O'Sullivan, Aaron Cook, Brad Penny, Joel Pinero and Carl Pavano.  O'Sullivan's in the lowest at 7.2%.  It'll be difficult for Wang to survive with such a low K-rate.  Even if they are mostly ground balls, too many balls in play will lead to too many hits which will lead to too many runs.

Wang has to pick up the K-rate to be successful.

*All stats from FanGraphs

No comments:

Post a Comment